Justin Trudeau – The Rebel to Rabble Review: Trudeau’s true anti-Black racism targets
On the eve of the fourth anniversary of the shooting at a Quebec City mosque that left six worshippers dead, Ricochet contributor Sanaa Ali-Mohammed explores the “systemic, institutional, and societal forms of exclusion (that) remain a daily reality for many Canadian Muslims.” This is partly due to lack of public funding for “anti-Islamophobia work led by the people and civil-society groups who understand the issue and experience it most severely,” she says.
According to her research, “in 2019, the Department of Canadian Heritage, through its Community Support, Multiculturalism, and Anti-Racism Initiatives program, allocated just 3.7 per cent of $21 million in funding to Muslim-led and -serving organizations,” with just two per cent to “organizations meaningfully led by hijab-wearing Muslim women, 0.4 per cent to organizations led by Black Muslims, and one per cent to first-time Muslim recipients of federal funding.”
While she acknowledges that the Anti-Racism Action Program had “nominally better” numbers, with 10 per cent of the available $15 million going to Muslim-led groups — “the pattern of limited engagement with organizations led by Muslims most likely to experience systemic barriers persists.”
In fact, “trends in who is impacted by Islamophobia and exclusion should drive how funding is allocated,” she writes, because “research shows that efforts to address inequality led by individuals with lived experience are more likely to achieve and exceed their goals.” Furthermore, “the funding of groups led by those closest to the issues promotes their self-determination and agency, and signals the legitimacy of their work to other public institutions and funders.”
Elsewhere on the site, Hawa Y. Mire marks the start of Black History Month by outlining how, in her view, the anti-racism initiatives championed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are targeted at “corporate Canada,” not “Black communities, in all our complexity.”
As evidence, she points to last year’s announcement — made by Trudeau himself — of new funding for Black entrepreneurs.
“It’s clear for those working in the trenches with Black communities struggling under the weight of systemic racism and COVID-19 that Trudeau only spoke to corporate Canada and the Black communities and individuals that are represented there,” she explains.
“Some Black communities have access to power to influence and impact change, while others do not.”
It also reveals “which Black communities are believed to have power and which are not to be consulted at all — and, perhaps more important … tells us how Black communities can be picked, chosen, and skipped over to serve the purposes of the people in positions of power.”
Also on Ricochet this week: Christopher Curtis files another heart-wrenching dispatch on the “compounding crises” faced by Montreal’s homeless, starting with the “avoidable death” of a woman named Amanda, who died from an overdose.
“Not that long ago, overdoses were something that happened dozens of blocks east on Berri Street — a place known as the epicentre of Montreal’s open-air heroin trade,” he writes.
“But harder drugs have migrated west in recent months. Last fall, two clients at Resilience Montreal died with injection opiates in their bloodstream. Over the Christmas holiday, a young man who stayed at the nearby Welcome Hall Mission overdosed. He was 24.”
It’s a crisis, he writes, that “has been exacerbated by another factor, Quebec’s province-wide curfew,” which has left intravenous-drug users afraid to use safe-injection sites after 8 p.m.
As CACTUS Montreal director Jean-François Mary puts it, “those people didn’t just stop doing drugs. … They’re using at home, alone, where they could overdose and die.”
Over at Rabble, Alberta blogger David Climenhaga offers a crash course to anyone who, like him, has “never paid a whole lot of attention to Enbridge Line 5,” only to find it now at the centre of the latest cross-border standoff over pipeline rights.
“Line 5 ends in Sarnia, Ont., a hub for the Canadian petroleum industry, where its contents are used to make a lot of the gasoline used in Ontario and Quebec.”
Line 5 was also built in 1953, “the same year the original Trans Mountain pipeline started pumping, Louis St. Laurent was prime minister of Canada, and Dwight Eisenhower was president of the United States,” he writes.
“Global warming wasn’t on the radar. Pollution was considered a reasonable price of progress.”
Perhaps most critical in the here and now of 2021, “to cut through Michigan, Line 5 had to cross the Straits of Mackinac, which run between Michigan’s Lower and Upper Peninsulas.” This is an “environmentally sensitive point in one of the greatest reservoirs of fresh water on the planet,” where it “temporarily splits into two parallel pipes that run across the bottom of the strait, completely exposed, where they’ve been gashed and dented by anchors,” he concludes.
“Who knew that, after almost 70 years, this would seem like a problem?”
While Climenhaga freely admits he hasn’t come up with “the solution to this mess,” it strikes him as “typical of the Canadian oil industry and the Canadian governments that have benefited from it,”namely, “instead of trying to come up with a solution, or even a Plan B, we spent years insisting the line was safe, insulted or patronized American politicians who were worried about it, and belligerently demanded more of the same.”
Meanwhile, Ricochet contributor Jacob Scheier, a “published poet, essayist, journalist, and activist,” explains why he found it “alarming (that) much of mainstream and social media” openly backed the “militarization” of Washington before the inauguration ceremony — and, “more concerning,” how much support there seems to be among liberals for “domestic-terrorism laws that would give the U.S. security establishment even more power to spy on its citizens and restrict civil liberties.”
A quick stop at Press Progress reveals an extensive — and unsettling — investigation into how Canadians “who once had a harmless curiosity in New Age spirituality and natural health practices prior to the COVID-19 pandemic have been unexpectedly radicalized by far-right conspiracies,” thanks to the “ragtag mix of unlikely allies” that have rallied against lockdowns and other public health protocols.
The PP research team is also (deservedly) chuffed at having made the short list for not one, but two, awards for “original investigative journalism,” courtesy of the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.
Over at Passage, essayist Paula Ethans takes a closer look at the call to defund police — particularly, the “divest-invest framework” that would “reconfigure government budgets to reduce police budgets and increase community funding.” It’s a “constructive vision that shouldn’t be diminished,” but nevertheless “isn’t enough to stop racist police violence,” she says.
Finally, Canadian Dimension pays extensive tribute to “socialist savant” Leo Panitch, an “iconic figure of the Canadian left” and “an early pillar of our publication,” who died just before Christmas “of COVID-19 and pneumonia shortly (after) a cancer diagnosis.”
Trending on the right-of-centre side of the Canadian activist mediasphere:
- Rebel News wants to know just who attended the “nice little winter getaway party” at Toronto Mayor John Tory’s “Florida mansion” last month — and doesn’t seem willing to take the mayor’s office at its word that neither Tory nor his wife snuck down to bask in the sun while the city remained in lockdown.
- Post Millennial has a video explanation for “why Canada’s vaccine plan is falling apart,” including “the problems that were there from the outset, (and) what would have to happen to save Trudeau’s deadline.”
- True North News takes aim at a New Democrat on the ballot in the upcoming provincial election in Newfoundland and Labrador, who, according to TNN, “has a history of using homophobic slurs on Twitter,” as well as “promoting radical ideologies like communism.”